Travel Desk, Delhi Magazine: Uttarakhand is a very beautiful and delightful state of India, which is a mountain place located near the Himalayas, which is also known as Devbhumi. There are a total of 6 National Parks in Uttarakhand – Jim Corbett, Rajaji, Govind, Gangotri, Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers. Of these, the Valley of Flowers National Park is the most unique, as it is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The place is situated at a very high altitude and is covered with snow for 7-8 months in a year. It remains open only for 4-5 months for tourists and nature lovers. It is being opened from June 1 this year.
Valley of Flowers Trek
Facts about Valley of Flowers:
- Highest Altitude: 14,107 ft.
- Difficulty: Moderate | Level 2
- Duration: 6 Days
- Base Town: Rishikesh (Uttarakhand)
This trek takes you to a valley in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, that is full of blooming flowers in vibrant colors. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see for nature enthusiasts and offers picturesque views of the snow-covered peaks.
Joshimath is 250 km from Rishikesh and Govindghat is 15 km from Joshimath. The entire route proceeds alongside the Ganges and the Alaknanda. On this way you can visit Panchprayag. These Panchprayag are – Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandprayag and Vishnuprayag. Badrinath remains only 25 km away from Govindghat, but the route to the Valley of Flowers diverges from Govindghat itself.
A village named Pulna comes 5 km away from Govindghat. The road is built till here. After parking the vehicles here, the further way has to be decided on foot. There is a nice wide path for walking. Pulna is situated at an altitude of 2100 meters above sea level. 9 km ahead of here is a place called Ghangaria, which is 3100 meters above sea level. The climb from Pulna to Ghangaria is exhilarating. But the natural views are so spectacular that fatigue is not felt.
Ghangaria is a big market. There are also good hotels to stay here and good dhabas and restaurants for food. If you walk from Govindghat in the morning, it is evening till you reach Ghangaria, so it is better to stay overnight in Ghangaria. Due to this the body also gets used to the altitude and there is less fatigue the next day.
From Govindghat itself, a road also leads to Sri Hemkund Sahib. Hemkund Sahib is a sacred lake located at an altitude of 4200 meters, where devotees come from all over the country and abroad to pay obeisance at the Gurdwara. The portals of Hemkund Sahib opened on May 20 this year, which will remain open till the end of October.
From Govindghat another road leads to the Valley of Flowers. This valley is a very long valley and according to your walking ability, you can go as far as you want. You will come across countless species of flowers all along the way. More than 500 species of flowers bloom here including different types of orchids, poppy, primula, marigold, buransh, rose, marigold. Many of these flowers are also used in medicine.
The best time for flowering is July and August. At this time the monsoon is at its peak and the entire valley is covered with flowers. At the same time Brahmakamal, the state flower of Uttarakhand also blooms. The rare Neelkamal and Fenkamal also bloom along with Brahmakamal.
If you are fond of trekking, you can also visit Kakabhushundi Tal. On the way from Govindghat to Ghangharia, there is a place called Bhundar. From here the track of Kakbhushundi Tal goes. It takes at least three days to do this track and you have to take a guide and porter, ration, tent etc. with you. This lake is situated at an altitude of 4400 meters above sea level and is counted among the inaccessible lakes of the Himalayas.
When would be the best time to Visit Valley of Flowers?
The Valley of Flowers will open for tourists from June 1, but the best time to visit is July and August. Most flowers bloom here in these months.
how to reach Valley of Flowers
Buses and taxis are easily available from Rishikesh to Govindghat. From Govindghat one can start the trek to the Valley of Flowers. If you don’t want to walk, you will find coolies and mules till Ghangharia. Taking mules is prohibited in the Valley of Flowers, so you will have to either walk there or take the help of porters.
Where to stay
There are many hotels in Govindghat and Ghangaria, where rooms are easily available. You can also take your own tents. Apart from these, you can also stay free of cost in the Gurudwaras at both these places. Ghangharia experiences a lot of cold and rain even in the month of June, so do not forget to carry warm clothes and raincoat.